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JP McGinnis
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Here's your fun distraction for the evening. (And I wanted to put this somewhere I'm sure to see it again.)

(via @kelleher_, twitter)

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First time ever, live-tweeting an open-heart surgery (double bypass) with short videos--storify'd. Really cool to read/watch. Enjoy.

via @billgardner, twitter

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This short editorial in Science deserves an "amen" like the one at the end of Biebl's Ave Maria. On communicating science clearly (and it name-checks CP Snow and his Two Cultures essay):

"A lecture designed to impress rather than inform usually does neither. Instead, it drives a wedge between different disciplines and promotes scientific fragmentation."

"Effective communication is a bridge between different disciplines and is essential to the advance of science. Agreement on a standard terminology should also stimulate discovery, because standardization is a proven motor for innovation."

"'Whatever can be said can be said clearly' . . . In science, simple
and clear language in both spoken and written communication is not only a matter of style—it is also a matter of substance."

(via @leonidkruglyak, twitter)

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On metacognition for kids, from Gary Marcus:

In the age of the internet, our problem is not that children can't find information, but that they can't evaluate it.

"Going back to the Industrial Revolution, the main emphasis as been on memorization, force-feeding our children with bite-sized morsels that are easily memorize—and quickly forgotten."

"Hamlet famously marveled that humans were "noble in reason", "infinite in faculty", but experimental psychologists like Daniel Kahneman and the late Amos Tversky have shown that humans are actually often poor reasoners, easily fooled. The average person tends to have a shaky grasp on logic, to believe a lot of what he (or she) hears unreflectively, and to be overly confident in his (or her) own beliefs. We tend to be easily fooled by vivid examples, and to notice data that support our theories—whilst forgetting about or ignoring data that go against our theories. Yet I cannot recall a single high school class on informal arguments, how to spot fallacies, or how to interpret statistics; it wasn't until college that anybody explained to me the relation between causation and correlation. In the age of the internet, our problem is not that children can't find information, but that they can't evaluate it."

"Instead of emphasizing facts, I'd expose students to the architecture of the mind, what it does well, and what it doesn't. And most important, how to cope with its limitations, to consider evidence in a more balanced way, to be sensitive to biases in our reasoning, and to make choices in ways that better suit our own long-term goals. Nobody ever taught me about these things in middle school (or even high school), but there's no reason why they couldn't be taught; in time, I expect they will."

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RIP Maurice Andre. I, and I'm sure many other trumpet players, grew up listening to Wynton Marsalis. Wynton Marsalis grew up listening to Maurice Andre--he was one of Wynton's Wyntons.

Maurice Andre Brandenburg Concert
Maurice Andre - Haydn trumpet concerto allegro
Maurice André plays the Queen of the Night
Maurice André, Hummel, 3rd mov.
Maurice Andre Ave Maria

via Eric Layden

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So if you have any passing familiarity at all with philosophy, you'll probably find this really funny:

" . . . philosophers from Oxford University [have] just released a damning report claiming that they were systematically unable to reproduce the results of thought experiments reported by Kripke in his groundbreaking..."

" . . . claims that 74% of the book’s thought-experimental results could not be reproduced using the standard philosophical criteria for inter-researcher agreement. A second version of the analysis, employing a generous application of the principle of charity, still left 51% of the results unverified."

"Asked how data fabrication in such a high-profile work could go undetected for so long, Williamson cites the plausibility of Kripke’s results. “If all you do is think about it, it seems obvious . . . . When we actually did the thought experiment, however, the results were surprising.”

via @Bill_Gardner, twitter

Doesn't "hyperbolic discounting" totally sound like a Monty Python sketch?

"Stupidest thing I've ever heard!" "That'll be £4.99--no wait! £4.49!"

(transferring over some posts from facebook, bear with me)

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‎(because we're currently in the virology section of our infectious disease module)

This is an eerie and spooky read; I almost got the chills. It's the first news article foreshadowing the AIDS epidemic--41 mysterious cases of Kaposi's sarcoma in young men in New York and San Francisco. The last three paragraphs really got me. And it would be two more years until a pair of articles were published in Science, detailing a previously unknown retrovirus.

It's gonna be such a great day when we kick this thing's ass.

(the abstracts for the two articles)
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